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Amiel, Henri Frederic
Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.
Bennett, William J.
[Democratic self-government] demands active participation in, and finally, reasoned judgments on, important civic matters. 'Judgment' is a word that is out of favor these days, but it remains a cornerstone of democratic self-government. It is what enables us to hold ourselves, and our leaders, to high standards. It is how we distinguish between right and wrong, noble and base, honor and dishonor. We cannot ignore that responsibility, or foist it on others. It is the price -- sometimes the exacting price -- of citizenship in a democracy. The most popular arguments made by [President Clinton's] supporters invite us to abandon that participation, those standards, and the practice of making those distinctions.
Oct. 01, 1998 - from
Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals
Students these days are, in general, nice. I choose the word carefully. They are not particularly moral or noble.
1987 - from
The Closing of the American Mind
Bryan, William Jennings
The humblest citizen of all the land when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of Error.
Escapism is laudable, perhaps the only truly honorable course for humane men - but only for them. Those who remain in the world, if they will not surrender on its terms, must maneuver within its terms. That is what conservatives must decide: how much to give in order to survive at all; how much to give in order not to give up the basic principles.
Odyssey of a Friend
Churchill, Sir Winston
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.
There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right.
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.
1938 - from a speech responding to Neville Chamberlain's signing of the Munich Agreement with Hitler
Cicero, Marcus Tullius
When a government becomes powerful, it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is a usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance for votes with which to perpetuate itself.
We make no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things we want much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong an element of all civilization.
Jan. 17, 1925 - from a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors
I believe that man will not merely endure, he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.
Dec. 10, 1950 - from his speech accepting the Nobel Prize
I think remembrance of the fallen should be primarily for those who knew them or were of their generation. Meanwhile, for children and young people and the generations without personal experience of Canada at war, Remembrance Day should or could recall much more of what Canadians did collectively, and of course, politically, economically and culturally in the wars. ... [It is worth remembering] how much only 11 million Canadians did together in "the good war" and how they emerged from it so much stronger and more diversified in institutions, skills, products, schooling, culture and recreations, with an entwined readiness and confidence to be bolder in the world as a whole. ... And this, I argue, we should focus on remembering on Nov. 11: We did it. We did so much of it well. We kept together. And we can do it again. Not, one prays, in wars, but fortified by the legacy created for us in and following the war of 1939-45.
Nov. 9, 1997 - from "Just how, and what, should we remember?", published by Sun Media
Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.
Heinlein, Robert Anson
Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untravelled, the naive, the unsophisticated, deplore these formalities as 'empty,' 'meaningless,' or 'dishonest,' and scorn to use them. No matter how pure their motives, they thereby throw sand into the machinery that does not work too well at best.
1973 - from
Time Enough for Love
When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
1775 - from
The Liberty Tree
Kennedy, John F.
A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.
Oct. 27, 1963 - from a tribute to American poet Robert Frost, delivered at Amherst College in Massachusetts
Honor can be a troublesome thing, but if one has it one does not lightly yield it.
1984 - from
The Walking Drum
Lebret, R.P. Louis-Joseph
Civilization ceases when we no longer respect and no longer put into their correct places the fundamental values, such as work, family and country, [and] such as the individual, honor and religion.
Lee, Robert E.
Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.
You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more "drive," or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or "creativity." In sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
1943 - from
The Abolition of Man
Something happens when an individual owns his home or business. He or she will always invest more sweat, longer hours and greater creativity to develop and care for something he owns than he will for any government-inspired project supposedly engineered for the greater social good.... The desire to improve oneself and one's family's lot, to make life better for one's children, to strive for a higher standard of living, is universal and God-given. It is honorable. It is not greed.
1993 - from
The Limbaugh Letter
It is the eternal struggle between these two principles - right and wrong. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it."
He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable or dangerous to do so.
1929 - from
A Preface to Morals
Lowell, James Russell
Where faith made whole with deed, Breathes its awakening breath into the lifeless creed, They saw [Truth] plumed and mailed, With sweet, stern face unveiled, And all-repaying eyes look proud on them in death.
1877 - from
Virtue is but heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all temptations or menaces.
Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.
One problem is that sometimes the environment changes and the old rule no longer works well, which necessitates a change in the rule. But such changes should be made only after a lot of discussion with past commitments being honored as much as practical. Credibility of policy permits much better outcomes to be achieved.
Sep. 1996 - from an interview published in
, a publication of the Woodrow Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
There are those things that at one time we all accepted as more important than our comfort or discomfort—if not our very lives: Duty, honor, country! There was a time when all was to be set aside for these.
Feb. 13, 2001 -
from his Francis Boyer Lecture to the American Enterprise Institute
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
1894 - from
...honor is a harder master than the law.
Honor knows no statute of limitations.
Journalism is the one solitary respectable profession which honors theft (when committed in the pecuniary interest of a journal,) and admires the thief.
[My terms in office] have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire.
Sep. 17, 1796 - from his farewell address
Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire - conscience.
from one of his schoolboy notebooks